August 20 – Daily Notes – Amanda

narrow escape

Though Esther is a unique book, it’s understandable why it was included in Scripture. The Jews narrowly escaped total extinction by an evil man and a weasel king. Purim is still celebrated by Jews today as they remember God’s incredible provision and creativity in assuring that they were not wiped out.

Esther 8:1-10:3:

  • 10 – The Jews choosing not to plunder their enemies is supposed to be a sign that this was a holy war.
  • 23-28 – Purim is a Jewish holiday still observed to this day. It is one of their most joyous occasions as they celebrate avoiding extermination at the hands of Haman.

1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13:

  • 1-13 – Known as “the love chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13 is popular at weddings. It is actually helpful in all walks of life when thinking about what it means to love. If you want to know if you’re being loving or if someone is showing you love, place it up against these requirements.

Psalm 37:1-11:

  • 1 – We do tend to envy wrongdoers because it often seems they get good things easily and are able to take shortcuts. We want their ease of success and don’t always recognize that that success is often short-lived and always dishonoring to God.
  • David continually encourages the hearer of this psalm not to worry about those who are unfaithful and to focus on waiting on the Lord.

Proverbs 21:23-24:

  • 23 – Our mouths tend to get us into trouble. It is wise to watch our words and think through them carefully.

What to Expect – Week 34

Pulitzers

Tomorrow we begin Job, which is widely regarded as the oldest book in the Old Testament, and therefore, the Bible. Job is challenging in a number of ways, but the main reason is: Job was righteous. Why does God allow him to be tormented?

Though not intended as a complete explanation, hopefully these thoughts will shift our thinking from something along the lines of, “why is God so mean?” to “what was really happening here and what came of it?” Take a second to think through these thoughts:

  • God was not the one doing the tormenting.
  • For the majority of the book, Job, who is being tormented, defends God.
  • Job’s friends are certain they can explain Job’s suffering. No one can explain suffering.
  • God gave Job his blessings. It is his choice to take them away as well. But note that God abundantly blesses Job again in the end.

I won’t try to explain what happened to Job in this book or how God operates or why we suffer, etc. Hopefully the above thoughts will at least add a few bumper lanes as you read this challenging book.